Kimberly K. Comeau’s Moon’s Kiss is Science Fiction that doesn’t feel like Science Fiction, which works for me because I’m not a big Sci-Fi fan. The story follows Manerra, a young man in line to rule his country even though he has misgivings about accepting the responsibility, and Kayarra, the man thought to be a demon by most of the country.
While crossing the desert to return to his brother and ruler Aya’s entourage, Manerra discovers a group of cannibals about to kill Kayarra. Bound by his duties to protect all people, Manerra saves Kayarra’s live only to instantly regret it. It is clear just from looking at him that Kayarra is not of Manerra’s people–his coloring is far too fair–so Manerra makes the same conclusion that most of his countrymen do: Kayarra is a demon that will plague the county. Aya and his entourage of advisers nurse Kayarra back to health, much to Manerra’s chagrin, and teach him the ways of their people. As Kayarra travels with Aya and his entourage, the group is forced to deal with ensuring Kayarra’s safety; most people he encounters react with fear or hatred, which in turn causes Kayarra to fear them. Will they ever achieve this goal or will Kayarra’s presence put his protectors in as much danger has he finds himself?
Because the characters in the story are basically human, it was difficult to read this story as Sci-Fi. The bulk of the novel is about Kayarra’s adjustment to living in a new way, finding out where he came from, and the political implications and ramifications of keeping Kayarra in the group during Aya’s rule. As I mentioned, I’m not generally a Sci-Fi fan, so this format worked very well for me. I found the plot interesting and was surprised by the directions the story took. Because much of the story takes place on the desert, I found myself envisioning the setting as the Middle East. The humanity of the characters and that they are well developed also made the themes easy to relate to and compare to today’s society. There is some very clear-cut Science Fiction action later in the story, so Sci-Fi buffs take heart. There are also a couple of romances sprinkled throughout which provides a nice distraction from all the political intrigue and plotting.
Be prepared to hunker down with this novel. Moon’s Kiss is long at 408 pages. While the bulk of those pages are interesting, there were a few scenes that I felt could have been edited out, not due to poor writing just because I felt they gave nice insights to the culture but did not move the plot along.
I enjoyed reading Moon’s Kiss. The story and characters are engaging overall, and anyone who is a Science Fiction fan should enjoy the story. Non-Sci-Fi fans looking for something different would enjoy Moon’s Kiss‘ political focus, its romance, and underlying theme about what is really means to belong.
About Moon’s Kiss
They found him in the South Ofrann Desert, where everything evil lived.
Manerra, heir to the tribes of Yatra, intends to abdicate–until his rescue of a man-thing from cannibals pits brother against brother and tribe against tribe. Prevented by decree from harming the creature, Manerra pledges to drive it away . . . and adds another layer of guilt to his already troubled mind.
Rebuffing all counsel, Aya, the nation’s ruler, takes steps to prevent bloodshed in future meetings between his people and the foreigners, and by so doing, hands his enemies the means to secure his downfall. As political maneuvering and violence escalate, there’s one wildcard that no one’s considered: the “demon” Kayarra. Who is he, what is he, and what do his people want?
Genre: Science fiction
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About the Author
Kimberly K. Comeau was twelve when she began writing, fifteen when she published her first story, and eighteen when she won her first literary contest. Since then, she’s published short fiction, poetry and nonfiction, served as director of an online writers’ workshop, and co-founded PC Quill, a critique group comprised of award-winning writers. She lives in Richmond, Virginia, with a musician husband and two fiercely protective cats.
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